In this post, Stan talks about Romans 12:10-13, especially the instruction to practice hospitality. I love posts about hospitality, because I think it’s one of the things missing in the life of the modern church. (Perhaps it’s been missing for some time, but I only know about the years that I’ve been around…)
At one point, Stan writes this:
For now, let’s concentrate on the hospitality aspect of this description. If I were commenting solely on the English translation the word “practice” would catch my attention. Practice carries with it the idea of doing something repetitively until we get it right. That, in and of itself, would be a very good thing where hospitality among the followers of Christ is concerned.
The Greek behind the English translation conveys a slightly different idea. Practicing means “strive for” or “pursue”. Strive for sharing your hospitality with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Eagerly pursue their company in your home. Seek to share life together in Christ with them.
Think about what Stan said: “Strive for sharing your hospitality with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Eagerly pursue their company in your home. Seek to share life together in Christ with them.” I think that’s a great explanation of the instruction to practice hospitality.
But… there is a little problem. Today, the home is not generally considered a place of socialization. It’s often a place of seclusion.
So, how do we “practice hospitality” if people will not accept an invitation to our home? How do we “eagerly pursue their company in your home” when that’s out of the question for them? Is it possible to begin by “sharing life together in Christ with them” in another location? (By the way, this is the idea of a “third place.”)
Have you found certain places (besides the home) where people are more comfortable building the kind of relationships in Christ that Stan talks about here?
(As a funny / ironic side note… if you search for “hospitality” on Google images, you get almost all pics of restaurants and hotels. That tells us a little about what our culture thinks when they hear the term “hospitality.”)